Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Declarations of Interest (17:33) pdf icon PDF 222 KB

At this point in the meeting, Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registerable interest they might have in respect of business on this agenda, if they have not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.


An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.


[Please see attached sheet for further guidance for Members]


Members were asked to declare at this point in the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registerable interests they might have in respect of the business on the agenda, if they had not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests. None were declared.


Minutes (17:33) pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meetings held on 18 October and 13 November 2023.

Additional documents:


Members considered the minutes of the meetings of the committee held on 18 October and 13 November 2023.


In respect of the minutes of the meeting held on 13 November 2023, members suggested amendments to incorporate questions raised by Committee under item 15 (Update Report on Homelessness / Resettlement Services 2023) in relation to access to council services for rough sleepers and the impact of council procurement processes, and to the wording of the resolutions under item 17 (Work Plan).


With reference to the resolutions under item 15, the Chair noted that he had written to the Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee to request a review of the process around the Salvation Army contract, and that the Executive Member for Housing, Planning and Safer Communities had invited the Chair and Vice-Chair to meet early in the new year to discuss the rough sleeping policy conference.




i.                That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2023 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

ii.               That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 November 2023 be amended to incorporate the additional points raised by the Committee and that the amended minutes be brought back to the next meeting for approval.



Public Participation (17:39)

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Members of the public may speak on agenda items or on matters within the remit of the committee.


Please note that our registration deadlines are set as 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at our meetings. The deadline for registering at this meeting is 5:00pm on  Monday 11 December 2023.


To register to speak please visit to fill in an online registration form. If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting, please contact Democratic Services. Contact details can be found at the foot of this agenda.


Webcasting of Public Meetings


Please note that, subject to available resources, this meeting will be webcast including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The meeting can be viewed live and on demand at


During coronavirus, we made some changes to how we ran council meetings, including facilitating remote participation by public speakers. See our updates ( for more information on meetings and decisions.


It was reported that there had been no registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Oral Health (17:40) pdf icon PDF 155 KB

This paper provides the Committee with an update on work being undertaken on oral health in the city, including work in schools, and oral health promotion programmes. Since April 2023 dental commissioning and policy is the responsibility of the NHS via the Integrated Care Board; the paper from the ICB at Annex C outlines the dental commissioning and contracting arrangements locally.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report which provided an update on work being undertaken on oral health in the city, including work in schools and oral health promotion programmes. The Committee were joined for this item by Debbie Leadbetter, Primary Care Programme Lead (Dental and Optometry) for the NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB), Jason Atkinson, Chair of the Humber and North Yorkshire Local Dental Network, and Mark Green, General Dental Practitioner.


Officers introduced the report, noting the council’s statutory oral health promotion responsibilities and outlining the work being done by the Oral Health Promotion Service in schools, workforce development, and collaborative work with the ICB and local and regional partners. They noted that dental access in York was below the regional average for adults at 39.7%, and above the regional average for children at 61.3%. Urgent care rates were higher in more deprived wards of the city with rates of routine care higher in less deprived wards. The proportion of the population on waiting lists for dental procedures was above the regional average, and while York had an above average number of dentists per head of population this included a mix of NHS and private provision.


Debbie Leadbetter outlined the Humber and North Yorkshire ICB Commissioning Overview (Annex C to the report), providing a summary of progress since the ICB had assumed responsibility for commissioning dental services from NHS England in April 2023. She noted the ongoing challenges to dental access, including a lack of flexibility in the existing NHS dental contract, and highlighted the importance of flexible commissioning in improving access to urgent care and for vulnerable groups. Jason Atkinson and Mark Green emphasised the impact of these developments from their experience as dental practitioners.


The committee discussed children’s oral health, including supervised toothbrushing schemes. These had been run by the Oral Health Promotion Service over the last year in six settings and feedback from schools and parents had been positive. Officers confirmed that a suitable provider had not been secured to undertake the National Dental Epidemiology Survey for five-year-olds locally, but a working group was looking at how this might be addressed on a regional basis for 2026. It was confirmed that there was good uptake across the city for Health Visitor reviews at 9-12 months, with accompanying oral health promotion. The ICB was also looking to commission child-only contracts to address gaps in access for children.


Members enquired about dental access for vulnerable groups. It was confirmed that until the ICB assumed commissioning responsibilities, dental services for care home residents had not been commissioned since 2006. Efforts were being made to encourage dentists to specialise in gerontological care, and the Oral Health Promotion Service was developing an offer aimed at older people, as well as expanding existing pathways for looked-after children. Technology was being used to improve translation services for patients who needed them.


The committee discussed the opportunities presented by the integrated care system reforms to transform healthcare in smaller communities around  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


Breastfeeding and Infant Feeding (19:18) pdf icon PDF 623 KB

This report provides the Committee with an update on the work being undertaken as part of York’s Breastfeeding and Infant Feeding Delivery Plan.



The Committee considered a report whichprovided an update on the work being undertaken as part of York’s Breastfeeding and Infant Feeding Delivery Plan. Officers presented an overview, noting that the multi-agencyInfant Feeding Partnership was aiming to increase rates of breastfeeding. This could play an important role in reducing health inequalities for the most deprived wards in the city, although infant feeding was a topic which needed sensitive handling and it was important to facilitate personal choice.


Members enquired about the provision of formula milk to those in food crisis. It was noted that while formula was part of many families’ infant feeding journey, a very profitable industry existed around it. Food insecurity was a concern, and local public health teams were bound by conventions around the advertising of formula. It was confirmed that emergency provision was one element of a citywide community approach being developed to ensure foodbanks, Citizen’s Advice, Local Area Coordinators, community hubs and GP practices were able to direct those in crisis to 24-hour emergency support andother relevant services.


The committee discussed how a citywide breastfeeding-friendly culture could be promoted. Officers confirmed an ambition to use available funding to encourage businesses to better support employees and customers who were breastfeeding, and that similar initiatives had been successful in other cities in the region. Work was being done with local partners including the Treasure Chest Group, and national support helplines were also being promoted.


Members also enquired about workforce training. It was confirmed that this was being prioritised to better target the more deprived wards identified in the report where the drop-off in breastfeeding was stark. Midwives and Health Visitors completed UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) training, and work was being done to achieve BFI accreditation across the service.




i.                To note the work being undertaken in both areas.

ii.               That officers provide the Committee with further detail on the ward-level data contained in the report.

iii.             That the Committee receive a short report at a future meeting to provide examples of best practice in promoting a citywide breastfeeding-friendly culture.


Reason:      To support our ambition of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding and safe infant feeding practices.

[Cllr Myers left the meeting at 19:43, and Cllr Vassie took the Chair for the remainder of the meeting].



Smoking in Pregnancy (19:43) pdf icon PDF 255 KB

This report provides the Committee with an overview of the work being undertaken to reduce smoking during pregnancy in York.


The Committee considered a report which provided an overview of the work being undertaken to reduce smoking during pregnancy in York. It was noted that in line with national averages there had been a downward trend in the rate of smoking at the time of delivery to 8.1% in York in 2022-23, although there were significant inequalities in ward-level rates.


Members enquired about the smoking cessation support provided by the Council’s Public Health team. It was noted that in line with the nationally accredited Russell Standard, the service focused on achieving cessation through a 28-day quit rather than on smoking reduction. This was a free Council service which worked closely with local maternity services with incentives offered to those on the pregnancy pathway. 72% of those who engaged with the service and set a quit date went on to a successful quit attempt. Officers confirmed that this was an opt-out pathway, with full implementation across local hospital trusts expected by the next financial year.


The committee discussed public health messaging around smoking in pregnancy. It was noted that hope was an important part of this messaging, and those who had quit and relapsed were no less likely to quit successfully on a subsequent attempt. Although no local data was available for postnatal cessation after three months, it was confirmed that this messaging would be reiterated through the Healthy Child Service once women were discharged from midwifery whether they had successfully quit at three months or not.


Members also discussed vaping and e-cigarettes, which were part of the nicotine replacement therapy offered to pregnant smokers and their significant others on the pathway. It was noted that nuance was required in public health messaging around vaping, which was not as harmful as smoking and needed to remain part of the quit toolbox for smokers. However, the marketing of vaping to young people was unacceptable and these messaging channels needed to be kept as separate as possible.


[Cllr Coles rejoined the meeting at 20:15].




i.                To note the report;

ii.         To endorse the recommendation to support our local Hospital Trusts and health partners in embedding smoking cessation in their pathways.


Reason:     To encourage health colleagues to implement the pathways committed to in the NHS Long Term Plan.



Work Plan (20:24) pdf icon PDF 258 KB

Members are asked to consider the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year.


Members considered the Committee’s 2023/24 Work Plan, including proposals for items on Building Repairs and the Adult Social Care Commissioning Strategy to come to the next scheduled meeting of the committee in January. Members noted a desire to receive a report on the recent Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys CQC Inspection as soon as possible.




i.                That the Committee request that a report on the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys CQC Inspection be brought to the next scheduled meeting.

ii.               That the Committee receive a report on the Adult Social Care Commissioning Strategy at its next scheduled meeting.

iii.             That the proposed item on Building Repairs remain on the Work Plan for the March meeting of the committee.


Reason:     To keep the Committee’s work plan updated.



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